Getting Started with the Synology DS920+

Created: Wednesday, November 11, 2020, posted by at 9:30 am


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If you are like other people who run a business, or even if you work from home in these lockdown times, you will find that you need tons of data accessible to you all the time. I know because I had to move so much data home because my office was shut down for more than a month during the lockdown days, and I needed all my data to ensure that my business was working smoothly. Yes, cloud storage is an amazing option but there are no unlimited storage options anymore online, and even if they existed, you don’t want to download twenty similar files to locate the one large file you needed.

And yes, I have several external hard drives and NAS from the likes of Seagate, Western Digital, and other providers&mdash:but they don’t last as much as they used to ten years ago! And I always use a RAID or at least more than one drive to store all data. So, if one of my drives go south, I only have one copy of the data left (and another copy on the cloud), but I need to get a replacement drive to ensure that the data is copied again and saved until I lose another drive!

There has to be a better option, and many of my business associates have recommended a more capable NAS solution such as the ones provided by Synology. So, when Synology contacted me to do a review of one of their newest NAS, I thought I could hit two birds with one stone. I could play with the Synology NAS solution and also get my backups in order. My contact at Synology was Andrew Huang. Thank you, Andrew, for patiently answering all my questions.

Andrew sent me a Synology DS920+ NAS.

Synology DS920+

Synology DS920+

I wanted all the bells and whistles, so, I decided to add extra RAM to the Synology DS920+ NAS. The NAS already comes with 4GB RAM and you can add another 4GB. You could add more than 4GB but many reviewers have found that the Synology DS920+ NAS will not use anything more than 8GB. The extra RAM needs to be fitted in a cavity inside the NAS as can be seen in the picture below.

Adding Extra RAM to the Synology DS920+ NAS

Adding Extra RAM to the Synology DS920+ NAS

The next upgrade I performed was by adding two NVMe SSDs of 400GB each. Like the RAM upgrade, this was also a Synology-branded product.

Synology NVMe SSDs

Synology NVMe SSDs

There are two slots at the bottom of the Synology DS920+ NAS device. Installing the NVMe SSDs is easy, and when you hear a clicking snap sound, you know that the NVMe SSDs are fitted.

Installing the NVMe SSDs

Installing the NVMe SSDs

Finally, you’ll need to add HDDs. Yes, you can still run the NAS without the extra RAM or the NVMe SSDs, but not without the HDDs. Synology DS920+ has slots to add up to 4 HDDs. It’s best to use larger hard drives, but you must be sure that your drives are compatible with your Synology NAS device. Fortunately, Synology maintains a comprehensive list of compatible HDDs on their site.

To take benefit of the capabilities that Synology has built within the DS920+, you’ll need to install at least 2 HDDs, although installing 4 HDDs is even better. You can of course get started with 2 HDDs, as I did, and then move up to more later.

I installed 2 of Seagate’s IronWolf HDDs.

Adding HDDs

Adding HDDs

The four slots have trays that can be pulled out. You fit the HDD in the tray and then insert it back so that you can hear the SATA connector at one end of your HDD snap to the connectors on the DS920+. You’ll need to slide back all trays, even the empty ones.

Slide back all trays, even the empty ones

Slide back all trays, even the empty ones

At this point in time, I was ready to power up the DS920+. I plugged in the DS920+, connected one of the Ethernet cables to my network, and pressed the switch on the device. To access the device, you can visit the Synology Find site in your web browser.

Searching for Synology devices

Searching for Synology devices

Soon enough, my Synology NAS was discovered.

Found your Synology NAS

Found your Synology NAS

Next, you just click the prominent Connect button and you will be led through the initial process of choosing a username and password, and also your Synology log-in details (if you do not have an existing Synology account). Then, you sign in to access your Synology device.

Synology NAS Interface

Synology NAS Interface

Clearly, a Synology NAS is not just a device to back up your files. It lets you run virtual machines, install a media server, and backup your entire Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace accounts. We will explore some of these options in our future walkthroughs. Watch this space.





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